Bidelot, Albert Raphael, MM1c

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Petty Officer First Class
Last Primary NEC
MM-0000-Machinist's Mate
Last Rating/NEC Group
Machinists Mate
Primary Unit
1942-1943, MM-0000, USS Helena (CL-50)
Service Years
1935 - 1943
MM-Machinists Mate
One Hash Mark

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

265 kb

Home Country
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Bidelot, Albert Raphael, MM1c.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Ft. Wayne, IN
Last Address
512 E. Suttenfield St
Ft Wayne, IN
(Wife-Martha Ann)

Casualty Date
Jul 05, 1943
Hostile, Died
Other Explosive Device
Pacific Ocean
World War II
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery - Taguig City, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Courts of the Missing (cenotaph)

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II FallenUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family RegistryWWII Memorial National Registry
  2015, World War II Fallen
  2015, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2015, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2015, WWII Memorial National Registry

 Ribbon Bar

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
USS Saratoga (CV-3)US NavyUSS Helena (CL-50)
  1935-1939, MM-0000, USS Saratoga (CV-3)
  1939-1942, MM-0000, Break in Service
  1942-1943, MM-0000, USS Helena (CL-50)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1943 World War II
  1942-1942 Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings/Battle of Savo Island
  1942-1943 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-42)
  1943-1943 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/New Georgia Campaign (1943)
  1943-1943 Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Kula Gulf
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Aug 08, 1935, Service entry date & Serial Number
  Aug 07, 1939, Honorably Discharged
  Apr 11, 1942, Re-enter the Navy
  Jan 01, 1943, Promoted to MM1c 1/1/1943
  Jul 05, 2015, General Photos2
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Battle of Kula Gulf and the Sinking of the USS Helena. 

The Helena opened fire to port at 0157 hours. About seven minutes after she opened fire at about 0203 hours, the Helena was hit by a torpedo. The first Japanese Type 93 torpedo impacted the Helena on the port side just below number one turret (near frame 32), tearing off the bow of the ship. The following explosions by two more torpedoes that hit under the second stack, port side, (near frame 82 and about frame 85) less than two minutes later at about 0205, caused catastrophic and terminal damage. The forward movement of the ship along with the massive structural frame damage caused the ship to twist and jackknife around the damaged area. The ship, still under momentum, went past the bow of the Helena and began to flood. The center part twisted to 45 degrees port sinking first. It dragged the rear of the ship down until the stern was vertical. About 22 minutes after the ship was first hit the ship sank at about 0225. In the mean time, the crew abandoned ship by going over the side after cutting free all the surviving life rafts into the ocean. Between the forward momentum of the ship the survivors were scattered over several hundred yards, at night, amidst a raging naval battle. Later currents would separate them even more.The bow would finally sink later the next day. It is believed tha MM1c Bidelot was at GQ Station in the Bowels of the ship and was probably killed instantly. 
Martha Krieg, a 92-year-old Fort Wayne resident now living in a Syracuse health center, met Albert Bidelot through her best friend's brother. Albert, an only child, was born in France. His father was killed in World War I; his mother remarried, to an American soldier with roots near Albion, Mich. Albert's family relocated to Fort Wayne. At South Side High School, his nickname was "Frenchie" and he was president of French Club. His 1935 yearbook photos show a tall, slim, dark-haired student with a shy smile.

Six years Martha's senior, Albert joined the Navy with a friend after graduation and returned to Fort Wayne following his four-year hitch. The young couple's social life revolved around their church.

When Pearl Harbor was attacked, Albert told Martha that he and his friend were Navy men; they would re-enlist so as not to be drafted into the Army. He also wanted to get married before he shipped off.

The young newlyweds lived in a trailer near the naval station in Chicago, awaiting his orders. Within three months he left for the South Pacific, assigned to the USS Helena, a 10,000-ton light cruiser returning to the combat zone after repairs from the Guadalcanal campaign.

Martha never saw her husband again. Survivors later assured her that Albert probably died instantly on July 6, 1943. He was below deck, in the engine room, when the ship was struck by Japanese torpedoes. It broke into three parts and sank with 168 crewmen aboard.

Martha returned to live with her family on a farm near the Fort Wayne airport. The telegram pronouncing Albert "missing in action" went to his mother, Susanne, who lived in the city. It would be a full year before Albert Bidelot was proclaimed dead.
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